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Thursday, June 9, 2011

'The Hangover: Part II' Review

There is a bit from comedian Jim Gaffigan where he mocks American society by saying that people here are so dumb that they buy bottled water when they can just get it from any tap for free... Had to be there I guess.

This bit was the first thing I thought about after I saw The Hangover: Part II. Says one studio exec, "How stupid do I think the movie going public is? I think we can get them to see the exact same movie they paid for in 2009." Well, I guess roughly 120 million in domestic grosses thus far tells a pretty sad picture: Americans are that dumb, present company included.
You say, Let's be reasonable, everyone with a brain could have told you that this was going to be a financial success but a critical disaster. Todd Phillips is not actually the genius everyone anointed him to be. He is, realistically, a nobody who hit gold with Hangover but, who, otherwise would be hard pressed to hit bronze. And granted yes, that is a fair point, but my displeasure with the film goes outside the plot, or message, or anything that the film is about; my fault with this film is so much deeper. My fault is with the Hollywood system and how a film like this is allowed to exist.

Pick on someone my own size? You're telling me... I'll try to keep my eye on the prize:

We had a sick night, bitches!
  • This is a review of The Hangover: Part II
  • This is a review of The Hangover: Part II
  • This is a review of The Hangover: Part II

Ok, I'm ready.

After The Hangover (2009) grossed the most money ever for a rated R comedy, its sequel was put on the fast track for quick production. It was such a cash cow that for every month Warner Brothers had to wait for its release, an angel lost its wings. Things were getting serious. But along it came, and the anticipation mounted, until finally the first trailer was released to the public. But then came the crucial mistake- at least from a marketing perspective.

Do you remember what made the first one a good watch? The mystery of it all. It was satisfying when we finally figured out what happened to these guys and we actually cared when they found Doug. Not so in the sequel. This time they loose someone else (the brides brother) but we can care less. He is not important in the scheme of things, and saving him isn't given enough clout in the story. It just doesn't work well. Plus the trailers gave too much away. People were going to be seeing this anyway, what is the purpose of showing everybody just how similar the two films were are?

It may be a comedy, but also is supposed to be a story. But there is no good story to be told in this second part. Its like the guy at a party who follows up someone's recollection of an interesting event with, "Something like that happened to me once, only it was a little different." No one cares what he has to say and eventually he is shunned from the conversation. Well, welcome to the life of Todd Phillips.

He could have done it right, and to say otherwise is ignorant. Maybe he was pushed too hard by Warners to get it done quickly- I'll probably never know. What I do know is that I paid 11 dollars for a piece of junk film that should never existed. There must be such a premium on new ideas that people in power have to continuously beat dead horses again and again just to turn a profit. People will pay to see Hangover 2 and Shrek 4 but they won't pay to see King's Speech or The Tree of Life- its the truth.

If you agree with that last sentence, well, your wrong. Every year production company executives get together and come up with a list of the 50 best screenplays that have yet to be produced- its called the Blacklist- and I'm going to assume (actually its pretty dam obvious) that some of those writings are more worthy of a silver screen appearance than The Hangover: Part II. Get out of here.

Obviously it comes down to money, and how the public's perception can guarantee it. The original Hangover made a killing, and was well reviewed. Making a sequel was is like playing with house money. They knew they were going to make it back- it was destined to happen. Take College Republicans on the other hand (Number 1 on the 2011 Black List): it could be quality, it probably is quality, but the market for it (a cunning political strategy type film) is unknown. Hence, why make it? If we are going to buy bottled water instead of drinking it from the tap, well, why not sell it?

3/10 -- Just Say No.

Here is that Jim Gaffigan bit for those who are interested:

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